FlyArystan, the world’s newest low fare airline, made its first commercial flight on May 1.
Flying from Almaty International Airport it is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Kazakh flag carrier Air Astana. The airline has launched with six domestic routes, with journey times from one to three hours to Taraz (DMB); Shymkent (CIT); Pavlodar (PWQ); Uralsk (URA); NurSultan (Astana / TSE) and Karaganda (KGF).
Air Astana has initially supplied the new company with two Airbus A320 aircraft from its existing fleet that operate under Air Astana’s air operator’s certificate. Two more A320s will follow in the last quarter of the year, by which time FlyArystan said it expects to be operating at least 12 routes and will be looking at obtaining an AOC in its own right.
The airline said it had moved from the initial announcement of its creation to first revenue flight in just six months. It has 160 personnel and is managed from Air Astana’s HQ in Almaty. That number includes 25 pilots and 45 flight attendants, with many seconded from Air Astana.
The aircraft have been newly retrofitted with 180 brand new blue leather Recaro slim-line seats, featuring red head-rests, the same colours as the cabin crew uniforms, designed by a local fashion house, working closely with Air Astana’s inflight team. The seat pitch is 29 inches, but the airline says they have the feel of 31 inches, owing to the curve of the seat and high positioning of the seatback pockets.